Sunday, October 24, 2004

Books, anyone??

I like books a lot.
I simply adore books.

I am *obsessively passionate about books.

Secret fantasy: I should own MPH. seriously.

An even 'naughtier' secret fantasy: To have a library named after me. heh heh. But then, I'd need to be famous first. LOL.

God knows how much I've spent on books (at MPH alone) during the last few months. What with the warehouse sale, point redemption vouchers, occasional 15% member discounts, buy-1-paperback-and-get-the-2nd-for-20%-off offer during April's World Book Day and the thought of having the luxury to read during my maternity leave. Hmmm... the receipts for next year's income tax refund should be able to reflect that.

During my Enid Blyton days, I used to imagine being one of the 3 children who discovered the Magic Faraway Tree. And that one of the magic lands that stop by the top of the tree would be The Land of Books where there'll be books everywhere: houses made of books, books growing on trees, and if you go visit the homes of the inhabitants of the land, you'll be served a book to read along with your strawberry muffins and tea.

My aunts would give me money as gifts for my birthday (instead of clothes or toys or other stuff) so that I can go indulge in and pamper meself with books I'd enjoy.

I used to enjoy the loooooong plane rides (NY->LA->KL) coming home during the winter break coz I get to spend time reading and at the same time have people wait on me, to refill my cup of coffee when it's empty.

Two people I know own an online bookstore that sells Muslim books for kids. I tremendously admire them for their initiative and efforts. Check out:

It's unfortunate that nowadays I don't get to read that much due to life's demands: work, marriage, mommyhood, household chores, fatigue due to old(er) age... Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about my life. I wouldn't trade my husband and kids for anything else in the world :)

I attribute my passion for books to the fact that I was introduced to them at a young age (it's all your fault, Ma! hehehe) and I guess to a certain extend Enid Blyton played a big part to reinforce my love for books as her inventive and fantastic stories have never failed to delight me. I hope my kids would grow up loving books the way I do (already seeing a book lover in Sofea... Alhamdulillah.)

*obsessively passionate: because of the following reasons:
- I'm of those annoying individuals who'd be overly extra-extra careful with my books so that they never appear battered or creased (or read, for that matter!) and must always look as good as new.
- I'm one of those who makes sure I open a book just 'wide enough' to be able to see a complete sentence from left to right, but never 'too wide' to avoid unnecessary creases on the cover (yes, yes, I know I'm irritating but I can't help it...)
- I'd (almost always) freak out if a borrowed book was returned to me with 'doggy-ear folds' at the pages as markers (come on lah, can't you use proper bookmarks instead??). Believe me... this compulsive behavior/disorder of mine simply drives my hubby nuts!! :)

Friday, October 22, 2004

I remember back then...

Turning the clock back to about 15-20 years ago...

I remember back then, growing up reading Enid Blyton's books: the Secret Seven, Nancy Drew, Famous Five and all the enchanted stories about faraway lands and wishing chairs, fairies and pixies and toys that come to life at night, school life at Mallory Towers, and last but not least, I made way for Noddy. I remember enjoying Tin Tin's adventures (used to check them books out from my school library). Was also into Roald Dahl's and Dr Suess' works.

I remember back then, my favorite childhood games being "main getah" ('jump rope' made out of rubber bands strung together) and "galah panjang" (errr... how to translate this ya?). Those days other popular childhood games were "main guli"(playing marbles) and "batu seremban"(five stones?). The Congkak was also a common must-play, in addition to hide-and-go-seek. I fondly remember growing up playing with paper dolls, and game-and-watch.

I remember back then, we had only two local TV stations (RTM1, RTM2) until TV3 made it on air. When my favorite TV shows were the Smurfs, Thundercats, She-Ra, Thunderbirds (remember this show? it's about them marine puppets in a submarine), the series "V" (thanks, LoLlies!), Voltron, Transformers, 21 Jump Street, to name a few. Then there's those Japanese "alih suara" (translated) series like Oshin, Julia, and later Moero Attack (bet you're being reminded of that ubat batuk cap ibu dan anak advertisement now hehehe).

I remember back then, my hobbies were (apart from reading and TV watching) collecting stamps, collecting pretty bookmarks, even collecting buttons/pins (sheesh!). And collecting pin-ups of popular actors at the time (ahh... Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street *yummy*) either for self-keep or trading with friends. When Debbie Gibson (remember her so many variations of cute hats??), Tommy Page and Tiffany were among the international artistes whose songs I listen to before NKOTB came into the music world. When Ali Setan and Azura were the most-watched local movies.

I remember back then, most of the mamak shop (sundry shop) goodies/junk food were those that had Mat Sentul singing their jingles -- Kum Kum, keropok Tora, Ka Ka, and Ding Dang (thank you, SacredSoul!). When santan (coconut milk) was obtained by extracting the juice out of grated coconut that you purchase from the shop where the shop owner would sit on his kelapa parut (grated coconut) 'special stool' (this was before the kelapa parut machine days) to immediately grate coconut depending on how much grated coconut you need. And that pink-colored chewy thingy in colorful wrapper with a picture of a cartoon character (cats, I believe) was a popular Wrigleys chewing gum equivalent.

Those were the days... *smiles*

So, what do you remember the most about your childhood?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

What is your gender?

Two babies were sitting in their cribs, when one baby shouted to the other,

"Are you a little girl or a little boy?"

"I don't know," replied the other baby giggling.

"What do you mean, you don't know?" said the first baby.

"Well, I do," said the first baby chuckling.
"I'll climb into your crib and find out."

He carefully maneuvered himself into the other baby's crib, then quickly disappeared beneath the blankets. After a couple of minutes, he resurfaced with a big grin on his face.

"You're a little girl, and I'm a little boy" he said proudly.

"You're ever so clever," cooed the baby girl, "but how can you tell?"

"It's quite easy really," replied the baby boy, "You've got pink booties and I've got blue ones."


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I hate I hate I hate

Started work only 3 days ago and already I have stuff that's overdue... arrrgggghhh!!!

*feels like banging head to wall*

On top of that, them bosses assume I can immediately resume work and get on top of issues. As if being away from office for 2 months maternity leave meant that I can simply waltz back to work afterwards and just 'pick up where I left off'. Don't they know that it takes time to adjust?? Do they think it's easy to 'switch modes' from attending to my newborn baby's needs for the past 2 months to worrying about server availabilities and response times? Maybe it is easy... if I cared. But I don't. At least not that much.

Yesterday I found out that we were supposed to install some agent on all our servers by next Friday Oct 29. The original instruction email was sent out sometime early September!! And I am still expected to meet the target date because (quoting the reply I got when asked for a possible extension) "Management wanted to stick to this tight deadline." In addition, there's the server issues, users problems etc etc etc.

I know, I know, I shouldn't be complaining... I should be thankful that I am actually employed. Of course I am thankful. It's just that... *sighs* Oh well...

When the going gets tough, the tough... errr... feels like procrastinating.

Need to get my act together and start organizing and prioritizing.

*takes a deeeeep breath*
*reminds self that this is the wonderful month of Ramadhan*

Till later.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Woke up this morning with a cold. Now I have a very runny nose, a slight sore throat and on top of that, my body is all achy (maybe a fever is coming... oh no!). Have so far used up two packets of Kleenex for blowing my nose and now it resembles the color of Rudolph's (the reindeer) nose.

I was supposed to have my picture taken for my new contractor badge/ID, but am now fidgeting with the idea of postponing it till tomorrow or later coz I don't feel keen on standing in front of a camera with a puffy face, watery eyes and a drippy nose *sniffles*

*stops typing to blow nose for the umpteenth time*

Probably got sick because I spent too much time in this freezing cold server room yesterday...

Or maybe, I am just allergic to (coming back to) work... *sigh*

Puasa/Fasting Is...

I prepared a toasted bagel with butter for Sofea to eat in the car on the way to school this morning coz she threw up the milk she had drunk earlier.

Her: Ibuuu, nah sikit. (Mom, here have some.)
Me: Tak nak, thank you. Ibu puasa. (No thanks, I am fasting.)
Her: Ayah? (What about Daddy?)
Me: Ayah pun puasa. (Daddy is also fasting today.)
Me: Sofea puasa tak? (Are you fasting?)
Her: Takkk... (Nooo...)
Me: Sofea tau tak apa tu puasa? (Do you know what fasting is?)
Her: Puasa tu lapar... (Fasting means hungry...)
Me: *smiles* errr... ok. *wanted to go into in depth explanation about fasting and Ramadhan, but decided not to until she's old enough to understand*

Wishing all Muslim bloggers/readers Ramadhan Mubarak...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Back at Work

After approximately 2 memorable months being away from office on maternity leave, I am back at work today. Enuff said.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Aidiin's Big Day

My baby started school yesterday. Talking about separation anxiety, it was I that ended up crying (again!) once Aidiin was left at the nursery. You'd think that having experienced it once three years ago when Sofea started school, I would appear calmer, 'cooler' this time around, but Noooo....

First I (unintentionally-subconciously) refused to pass sleeping Aidiin to the teacher when I arrived at the school, so she asked if I wanted to go upstairs to place him in the cot by myself. Which I did.

After talking to the teacher about Aidiin's feeding times and the bottles of expressed breastmilk that I'd supplied I kissed Aidiin goodbye on the forehead. He was still asleep. Then my legs froze at the entrance to the Infants Room, and I couldn't move. I was continuously peeping at my baby while the other 3 babies (ranging from ages 5 to 13 months, so Aidiin was the youngest there-2 months old) stared. The teachers just looked and smiled. Then Cikgu Ana (Teacher Ana) who was the 'authority figure' asked if there was anything else that I wanted them to know or if I had any questions. I just shook my head and told her to immediately call me should there be any problems.

Then I finally went downstairs and after kissing Sofea (who appeared to be nonchalant despite having the teachers and the other kids repeatedly asking her about her baby brother upstairs) goodbye, I left with famyBoy. In the car, as we drove away, tears welled up in my eyes *sniffles* as I started worrying how Aidiin would react when he woke up in a roomful of strangers, how the teachers would handle him when he starts crying, and then I started imagining his little face when he coos and gurgles... *big sigh*

I know the day would arrive when I need to 'detach' myself from Aidiin, I just didn't imagine it would arrive so soon. And I can't help (unnecessarily) worrying about him... *imagines all mommies out there nodding their heads in agreement*

But as famyBoy had said, I'd better 'get it over with' and 'get adjusted' as soon as possible since I'll be going back to work next week. *cries*

I'll be okay... Insya Allah.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Baby Talk and Moles

Aidiin started 'talking' about 2 weeks ago.

And since then, he's been errr... rather talkative. He simply loves it when I (or anyone for that matter) talk and talk and talk to him and he'll start 'talking' back, with as much facial expression as possible. And he likes to smile too (especially during diaper changing time)... not just those little lip curls, but big genuine 'oh-soooo-cute' smiles... to put it emoticon-ly, his smile is not a :) but rather a :D

Our typical daily conversation would be me going "Hello baby, hello sayang, hello Aidiin..." and him responding with delightful coos, gurgles and sighs. It just melts my heart.

When he does one of his :D smiles, he looks kinda goofy without teeth, and yet so irresistibly adorable... I wish I had a picture to share. Gotta ask famyBoy to get our camera fixed soonest possible.

Last night, after having brushed her teeth, Sofea came up to me and asked me to help her change into her pyjamas. As I was helping her undress, she pointed out that she's got two moles on her body, "Ibu, Sofea ada two tahi nyamuk. Tengok ni."

I almost died laughing.

** Note: The above incident would only be funny to those who understands Malay coz unfortunately, I don't know how to translate it without losing the humor.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

MidV@lley Megam@ll: Shop Some More

Phew!!! What a day...

We went to MidValley on Wednesday, as planned. Decided to have lunch at the Little Penang Cafe restaurant before doing anything else since I only had a mug of Milo for breakfast. On the way to the restaurant, I caught a glimpse of a new tudung (scarf) shop, and noticed the cornucopia (gee, why did this SAT word come to mind?) of scarves and shawls, in various designs, colors and sizes. Nice, very nice indeed.

*right hand scratching chin subconciously* Should I go in or not? Just a quick look... Not to buy, just to look. But then again, Raya is near, I would need a matching tudung to go with my baju kurung...
While I stood in front of the shop contemplating whether I should go in or not, famyBoy was already far ahead of me with the baby in the stroller. As a matter of fact he was already standing in queue at the front of the restaurant, waiting to be seated.

Minutes later, I found him sitting at a table near a wall on the left side of the restaurant. The waiter had just arrived with the menus. Aidiin was fast asleep in his stroller. After deciding on what to eat and placing our orders, I asked him (in a slightly irritated tone) why he'd left without telling me that he was not gonna wait. He then frowned at me and insisted that he did tell me but apparently, I was sooo into my thoughts and oblivious to my surroundings that I didn't hear him. He said he told me he'd be waiting at the restaurant and I (supposedly) had responded with a nod.

Me: Yeah, right...
Him: Laaa... I dah cakap lah. You yang tak dengar. (I did tell you. You weren't listening.)
Me: Takkan tak boleh tunggu kejap? (You couldn't have waited for me?)
Him: Buat apa nak berdiri je kat situ? You kalau pilih tudung bukannya sekejap. (Why should I just stand there? You always take a long time to decide on what you want.)
Me: Siapa kata I nak beli? I nak tengok je lah. (Who said I was going to buy anything? I just wanted to take a look [although knowing me, I would've ended up buying something, but that's not the point]).
Him: You punya 'tengok' tu selalu end up with beli... (When you say you 'just wanted to take a look', it usually results in you buying something...[he's like a mind reader, isn't he?])
Me: So?? Kalau beli pun tak salah kan? Tudung can pakai forever. I shouldn't need to justify buying tudung. It's not like I nak beli baju with spaghetti straps ke. (So?? It shouldn't be a crime if I wanted to buy, scarves can be worn forever. I shouldn't need to justify buying scarves. It's not like I wanted to get a top with spaghetti straps or something.)
Him: Memang lah tak salah. But that wasn't the reason we came here. You kata nak beli baju budak-budak, beli baju budak-budak lah. Bukannya takde tudung nak pakai. (Yes, it's not a crime. But that wasn't the reason we came here. You said you wanted to buy clothes for the kids, so (just) buy clothes for the kids. It's not like you don't have any existing scarves to wear.)
Me: *sulk sulk sulk in silence* (because it would be pointless to argue with facts)

The good thing is the above conversation did NOT take place, although it was highly probable as we've had big arguments that started with something as trivial and petty as "You couldn't have waited for me?". I guess I was in such a cheery mood that day that rather than being defensive, I just smiled acknowledgingly at him instead. Had I decided to do otherwise, we'd probably end up quarrelling and cranky and that would've spoilt the entire day.

Anyways, what really happened:
The waiter brought our food, we ate, drank, talked about his upcoming offshore trip, recalled and laughed at Sofea's antics the night before, took a peak at sleeping Aidiin a couple of times, made plans to start sending Aidiin to school next week, discussed about the additional household expenses, shrugged at the idea of going through Ramadhan this time with not only a demanding toddler, but also with an even more demanding baby, talked about me going back to work (arrrggghhh!!), talked about the possibility of having my cousin hang out at our house this weekend to keep me company since I'd be left alone with the kids, etc etc etc. Wonderful, quality time together.

Then I 'picked up where I left off' on Monday, and went looking for more stuff for the kids, mostly clothes. More choices this time since I not only shopped at Jusco. Suffice to say, I spent more than I would normally do... even more than what I had initially planned to.

*scratching head thinking of next month's credit card statements*

Oh well... *sigh*

I bought books

I took a quick detour to MPH when I was in MidValley the other day.

Bought me 3 new books to add to my existing collection:
- The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern by Lillian Jackson Braun
- Children Are From Heaven by John Gray
- The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

I've decided to remove Raising A Daughter & Raising A Son from my To-Read list temporarily because I've pretty much skimmed through the applicable-to-my-kids-at-the-moment chapters during the past 5 weeks or so. Applicable chapters being general information about girls and boys, manhood and womanhood, and stuff to know about little girls and boys between the ages of birth till five. I'll go back to the rest of the chapters when the time comes.
Maybe I'll write and post a summary of what I've read when I have the time, someday.

I decided to get Children Are From Heaven because I'd enjoyed Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus which was written by the same author. Looking forward to find out and learn about the positive parenting approaches and skills covered in this book.

Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club looks like an interesting read. Basically it's about 6 ordinary who meet once a month to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Throughout my life I've read (and enjoyed) two of Ms Austen's novels: Emma and Pride and Prejudice (both during school days) and I've watched the Sense and Sensibility movie that starred Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. I think Emma Thompson won an award writing the script for this movie and if not mistaken there was even a book produced about it... "The Making of... " the movie or something like that.

I have yet to read the other novels by Jane Austen, perhaps even catch them at the cinema or on pirated DVDs if anyone decides to translate Jane Austen's fine works to the screen.

And last but not least, a book by Lillian Jackson Braun, another addition to my "The Cat Who..." series.

Woo hoo hoooo!! Gotta go update my To-Read List now. :)


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